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Testing Underwater Robots at a Dilapidated Naval Base

June 11 2015
We plan on investigating the site of a wreck near the decommissioned Point Molate Naval Base. It has been surprisingly difficult to find information about the wreck itself, but the history of the Richmond coastline that juts out nearby is fascinating. Once a massive winery, then essentially a ghost town, then a navy fueling station, and now largely empty, who knows what our OpenROVs might might off the shore!

June 11 2015


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Preparation Stage

Well, we had quite a day yesterday! After packing our gear and heading north up the bay, it quickly became clear that deploying our ROVs was going to be a challenge. We were able to get fairly close to the wreck site, but the water was so choppy that we were forced to audible and find a calmer place to set up and fly our robots (Clipper Cove - to be exact).

Visibility and current in the bay can be tricky, but we think an early morning trip when the water is calmer might make it easier to investigate our initial target site. On the plus side, our ROVs worked really well in Clipper Cove!


Sweet ride! Glad to see you guys out on SF Bay using side scan. I'm a little unfamiliar with the wreck site, would you mind putting up a research post about that?

WOW!! The team met up at Hollis HQ for deployment at the San Leandro Marina...we hit the water running and this boat is FAST!!


nice music!

Well... how'd it go??

@Eric Stackpole I'd say we are still firmly in the "discovery" stage. The conditions weren't conducive to flying an ROV (for a moment there we felt like we were on deadliest catch), but we're already scheming up a plan for next time!


I'm going to pack a carafe of coffee and some grapes.
Do you guys at HQ want to bring some hot chocolate packs or something?

And then snacks. Boat snacks.

Here's our ride:


Mission Objectives:
1) Test Carey’s New OpenROV
2) Test vessel’s Humminbird system for navigation and target acquisition
3) Search for Shipwreck

21 Ft. Rigid Inflatable with twin 300 HP Outboards (may not be enough)


11:10 - Meet at Hollis HQ
11:15 - Set up Elise’s Laptop to run Shelly, Test other ROVs as needed
11:30 - Leave Hollis HQ for Oakland Boat Ramp
12:00 - On the Water, input GPS Coordinates of dive target
12:10 - Motor to target (at high speed)
12:45 - 13:30 Use Humminbird System to look for wreck
13:30 - 14:45 “Slop n’ Drop” dives in approximate wreck location
15:00 - Test Additional ROVs, Train Bob and Billy
15:30 - Pack Up
16:00 - Motor back to Oakland
16:30 - Haul out boat, drive back to HQ
17:00 - Depart HQ


We're headed out on San Francisco Bay Today. Forecast looks good, but we'll be moving fast, so dress warm crew!

Expedition Background

Tomorrow we will set off around midday to explore the base of San Pablo Bay. We plan on testing one our team members' newly built OpenROVs in open water for the first time. More updates to come!


Wooo Hooo!! The weather is gonna be windy!! Can you invite us to the adventure Mags?